Government

Chief Standing Bear issues three vetoes after 2018 Hun-Kah Session

After the 2018 Hun-Kah Session ended, Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear vetoed two legislative bills and line-item-vetoed a third bill passed by the Fifth ON Congress.

According to the May 11 Congressional legislative tracker detailing the most recent statuses of filed legislation, those vetoed bills are:

- ONCA 17-121 (sponsored by Congresswoman Shannon Edwards): A bill to amend the Nation’s Workforce Pay for Performance Act, to clarify the Nation’s Merit Performance Recognition and Merit Compensation structure.

- ONCA 18-16 (Congresswoman Maria Whitehorn): A $250,000 appropriation to the Nation’s Bluestem Ranch LLC Board with the funding coming from the Economic Development Fund.

The third bill, ONCA 18-22 sponsored by Edwards, received a line-item veto with a reduced amount in the appropriation bill to take effect with Standing Bear’s signature. ONCA 18-22 sought to provide appropriations for the Osage LLC Board for $50,663 and $59,763.

Standing Bear issued an April 30 veto message on ONCA 18-22 stating he objects to the Osage LLC Board appropriation and reduced the amount for the Tallgrass Economic Development Board to $32,300.

“I veto any appropriation to Osage LLC,” Standing Bear wrote. “Any board member of Osage LLC could also be a board member of the related company, Tallgrass Economic Development LLC. If this occurred, there would be no additional stipends, travel or other board member expense.”

“As to Tallgrass Economic Development LLC, I have not received any request for funding from the board (at the time of considering the bill for action). I object to the appropriation by the Osage Congress for Tallgrass Economic Development LLC except for part of the appropriation for stipends and travel for individual board members of Tallgrass Economic Development LLC and then only for the remainder of the fiscal year. Because stipends are appropriated under the line item “Other” (in the budget bill), I will agree to a maximum for this fiscal year for stipends in the amount of $27,300 in this line item. I will also agree to travel for three board members for the remainder of the fiscal year in the amount of $5,000. This results in a total approved amount of $32,300 and is limited to Tallgrass Economic Development LLC.”

Standing Bear returned a copy of ONCA 18-22 showing the reductions and signed the bill for that amount to be authorized.